Tuesday, August 10, 2010

because i'm on vacation, that's why i'm updating all of a sudden

You would think (or at least: I would have thought, circa 2007) that having a book come out next year would be something that would be dominating my life right now. But it really isn't. Mostly because I've been working on this thing in one form or another for the better part of three years, and also mostly because the whole book publishing process is very deliberate and protracted, with lots of back and forth and this-department and that-department. Every once in a while I get a package or an e-mail with evidence that things have moved one click ahead (for example, last week I got to see some sample pages to solicit my opinion on things like fonts and stuff--ah, to be at the choosing fonts stage! It's every former high school newspaper editor's dream! I love choosing a good font.) but other than that, the book seems like something very peripheral to my everyday life. Not that's it's not exciting or cool, and not that I'm not dying to see the first bound copy or eagerly awaiting publication, but it just seems...peripheral. And, to be clear, my everyday life consists mainly of taking care of very sick patients, administering anesthesia, getting blood sprayed on me hither and yon, and then coming home, trying to create dinners out of thin air that bear at least a reasonable resemblance to the FDA's food pyramid, bathing two gross sweaty boy kids, wrangling them into their pajamas and then wresting them into bed (read: sitting witness at the bedside until they pass out from exhaustion or verbiage-induced asphyxiation). Rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Where was I? Oh yes, the book.

The book, I think, is in the layout stage now. I don't know what this stage is actually called, but we're past the copyediting stage (aka the part where they send back your manuscript with a billion blue and green pencil marks, erupting Post-it Notes demanding clarification on this or that point--my editor attests that this is the cleanest manuscript she's seen in a while, but if so, I'd hate to see the sloppy ones) and at the typesetting phase, where they take the words and download them into book form. So hopefully, the next time I see this thing, it will at least somewhat resemble the bound and final manuscript, even if it isn't, you know, bound and finalized.

We're also at the early stages of soliciting blurbs. You have to forgive me if I'm not explaining this right, but I'm a neophyte as this, so I'm just explaining this process as I understand it myself, which is to say in a very rudimentary and peripheral way; but blurbs are short recommendations or insights about the book solicited from other writers or notables. Which is to say famous people. I'm sure there are certainly authors who have their share of famous friends, but as I was unfortunately not present at the Algonquin round table, my exposure to the literati past, present and future has been sadly lacking.

We're getting some great blurbs in, and advance attention has been positive, but I would think that when it comes to matter of publicity that more is better, so if you happen to know of any famous people who might be interested in receiving an advanced reviewer's copy of the book, I'm sure the good people at Grand Central Publishing would be more than happy to send one their way. E-mail me, won't you?

Also, yes I am off this week. This is one of the benefits of being in private practice anesthesia--I get more vacation time now, even if I don't really need it. But who am I kidding, I always need it. Did I tell you about that patient I had last week? Well, of course not, because of HIPAA, and me needing to not get fired. But believe me, it was intense.

Famous people who like to blurb books! E-mail me! I love you in advance!


  1. jane doe8:58 PM

    Not exactly famous, but for cult tradition alone, surely sending a copy along to Stephen Joseph Bergman would be worth a go...?

  2. You should consider "Dooce" she is quasi famous and has a couple of books out

  3. Anonymous11:51 AM

    I think that loyal stalkers... I mean readers... should count as famous people

  4. Anonymous7:55 PM

    I love reading your blog and will purchase your book and hopefully one day stand in ling to have you sign it.

    You had me as the Oz reference.

  5. Anonymous9:32 AM

    How many weeks of vacation do you get a year in private practice?

  6. Canadian Jenn1:00 AM

    I was browsing on Amazon (.ca) the other day, and I typed in your name to see if your book was listed yet. Your name did indeed come up with pre-order info, which was exciting. Exciting for me because I look forward to reading it, but I'm sure if I was an author and saw my own name, I would be crazy-excited. (Although I totally get the peripheral bit--I also have kids and the day-to-day caring for them is the dominant part of life right now.) So congrats and I can't wait to read it! I have been enjoying your blog for a few years now, and I am sure your book will be equally enjoyable.